William Berry, best known as Bill, is a Team Leader who works at Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Supported Housing. He has worked in the social care sector for 17 years, beginning his care career with Making Space in November 2003 as a Tenant Support Worker.
Before this, Bill was an experienced chef, working in the catering industry for over 20 years in a wide range of roles and establishments, including restaurants and hotels.
It was this career in catering that lead Bill into working in social care. “I did a day’s voluntary work at a large residential mental health setting, helping service users prepare food for their party. I enjoyed the interaction so much with the service users that I took employment as a Support Worker in a local residential and gained my Level 3 Certificate in Social Care”.
Today Bill leads a team of 10 employees, supporting 51 people within 6 services to live independent lives. Seeing the development of the people he supports is his favourite part of the job. “I’m working with a tenant at the moment who volunteers as the group activities co-ordinator for all six services. It’s been amazing watching his confidence grow while fulfilling the role”.
Studies have shown that male patients respond well to male support workers, carers and nurses. Bill thinks that the importance of men working in social care is critical. “A number of our tenants respond better when being supported by a male staff member and seem to pen up more during conversations. They put a lot of trust in Making Space’s male support workers”.
So what would Bill say to any men who are thinking of working in social care? “It’s a fabulous career and no work day is ever the same. You will need good communication skills, patience and have a kind-hearted nature to succeed. More male representation is crucial within the sector”.
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